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12-Year-Old Santa Monica Boy Dies, Possibly after Playing the 'Choking Game' [Updated]

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Photo by CarbonNYC via Flickr

Photo by CarbonNYC via Flickr
A young boy died last week in what police are calling an "accidental death." On April 20th, Santa Monica Police officers were called to a medical emergency on the 800 block of 18th Street. The 12-year-old was found in full cardiac arrest and taken to the hospital. Two days later, he was taken off life support and pronounced dead a short time later. Based on preliminary information, police say the death may have been a result of engaging in the "Choking Game"--its goal is asphyxiation.

"Asphyxiation results by applying pressure which restricts oxygen and/or blood flow to the brain of the victim therefore creating a desired euphoric sensation," a department news release stated.

[Update: The LA Times says the boy was playing the game solo by tying a rope to his neck. The restriction of blood flow can cause a "quick euphoric sensation.]

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Police are asking for the public's help. If anyone has information, they are encouraged to call Investigator Maury Sumlin (310) 458-8437, Sergeant Ira Rutan (310) 458-8959 or the Santa Monica Police Department (24 hours) (310) 458-8495.